A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday partially blocked President Trump's attempts to punish "sanctuary cities" that do not fully comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts by withholding federal grant money.Hey, Remember When Conservatives COMPLAINED About Executive "Overreach"?
U.S. District Judge William Orrick ruled that Trump exceeded his presidential authority when he signed an executive order Jan. 25 directing his administration to withhold all federal funding from local jurisdictions deemed to be "sanctuary" jurisdictions. That general term describes more than 300 local governments that have limited their cooperation with federal immigration officials.
To be fair, there's at least one conservative Ilya Somin (if the name sounds familiar, we've tussled before - Hey, Ilya, how ya doin'? Next time you're in Pittsburgh, let's go to Primanti's) that complains about this executive order.
In yesterday's Washington Post:
Judge Orrick’s ruling concludes that the order violates the Constitution because it undermines both federalism and separation of powers. It follows nearly the same reasoning I laid out in my post criticizing the order when Trump first issued it.Somin's reasoning: the president cannot impose conditions on federal funds:
Where Congress has failed to give the President discretion in allocating funds, the President has no constitutional authority to withhold such funds and violates his obligation to faithfully execute the laws duly enacted by Congress if he does so.And it's unconstitutional because it's coercive:
The opinion also concludes that the executive order likely constitutes unconstitutional “commandeering” because it coerces state and local governments to enforce federal law, in violation of several Supreme Court precedents under the Tenth Amendment. Ironically, those precedents were strongly supported by conservatives (one of the most important was authored by Justice Antonin Scalia) and – at the time – much-criticized by liberals. Some defenders of the Trump order have argued that there is no commandeering problem here because the anti-commandeering principle does not apply to federal efforts to compel disclosure of information. I criticized this argument here.Ok, so how many OTHER conservatives are going to be agreeing with Somin's argument?
Can we keep count?